Holding her deep lavender ball gown by the sides, Bryanna, 15, glided in and out of Vizcaya's Secret Garden as photographer
"When I was little, I had always wanted to take pictures in the Secret Garden," Bryanna said. "It brought back a lot of good memories."
Recently, the Secret Garden went through a meticulous three-week
"The focus was to retain the historic pattern and restore the original grade in earnest," said
Weathering and heavy foot traffic also caused the soft limestone pavers to sink and break.
In 2013 alone,
Originally known as the Orchid Garden, the two-story, 3,400-square-foot section of the garden, created in 1917, was inspired after
Unable to get the orchids to grow, garlic vines took over, crawling up the rustic wood trellises and covering two cypress doors and an iron framework attached to the top of the building.
As the vines overtook the building, house guests on the terrace could not see anyone below them and those on the ground floor could not see anyone above.
"You could be anywhere in this garden and you would feel like you were by yourself," said
The recent restoration project gave Simpkins a chance to do something really unique with the Secret Garden's agricultural space.
"We took the opportunity to bring in a lot of critically endangered pine rockland species," said Simpkins, who worked with
"We wanted to show people that you really can use them as ornamental plants in your gardens, while conserving native plants at the same time."
Scattered around the landscape are plants like: Pineland Heliotrope, Yellow Geiger, and "Lignum Vitae," Latin for "
Maintaining the impression that the house and gardens were built centuries ago was something
Almost a century after its actual creation in 1916, the staff at Vizcaya has truly worked to keep his dream alive.
"It's beautiful," Bryanna said. "I feel like if I was there when it was actually built."
IF YOU GO
Prices: Adults --
For More Information: call 305-250-9133 or visit http://vizcaya.org
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